Burp Castle – The temple of beer worship

So if the title of this particular establishment got your attention then you are going to love the rest of this article.  When it comes to bars in New York City, you can say without hesitation that there is no shortage.  Most bars follow the normal strategy of putting as many flat screen TVs on the walls as they can, playing loud music, and throwing an irish name above the door.  While those types of bars are great for certain occasions, that sort of bar blandness is what makes the Burp Castle stand out among the New York bar scene and even in its location in the East Village, which is known for its unique establishments.

What makes the Burp Castle so special beyond the unique and inspiring name?  Well lets start with the fact that the bar used to be known for its bartenders wearing monks robes, which while not common place, will still happen on a rare occasion.  The bar takes inspiration from what I would only assume is a very rich tradition of monk breweries and created a shrine to these individuals.  This takes me to the second reason why this bar is so special, if you are looking for a loud hangout to drink with friends then this bar is not for you.  With a very dimly lit interior, soft music playing and tiny tables… the Burp Castle seems destined for small groups chatting in hushed tones.  If these previous features weren’t enough, then perhaps the bartender “shushing” the entire bar whenever it gets too loud will help keep the noise level down.  If you want to know the answer is yes, this “shushing” does take place and far more often than you might think.  It is actually interesting to see the noise level rise at Burp Castle, starting in one location and slowly working its way around the bar like a wave until this influx is broken sharply by the barkeep holding his finger to his mouth giving the universal signal for silence.  So this makes it a great place to actually have a real conversation and to perhaps have a date…. so rare are the beer halls where romantic dates can actually occur.  Lastly this is a Belgian beer bar and a great one at that.  While this is not completely unique by New York standards, they do have 12 quality beers on tap along with a varied selection of bottled beers.  Add to that the occasional free Pomme Frittes from one of the best fry locations in the whole of New York City and you have a recipe for success.

From my latest trip here I can say that this is a very unique experience for even the most seasoned of native New Yorkers.  The vibe is calm and relaxed and when seated at the bar you know you are in good company surrounded by joyfull and well seasoned beer drinkers.  A one of a kind spot in New York City awash with cookie cutter bars is as high a complement as one can give… so check it out!